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Mallets Aforethought

(Home Repair is Homicide #7)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,559 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree left her high-powered career for a dilapidated fixer-upper and the dream of a quiet existence in the quaint town of Eastport, Maine. But she found that no matter how carefully you remodel your life, murder can take up residence anywhere.

It’s Eastport’s most notorious landmark: the old Harlequin House. Named for the disgraced physician Chester Harlequ
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 26th 2004 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2004)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,559 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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Start your review of Mallets Aforethought (Home Repair is Homicide, #7)
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it
This one got dangerous! She should be PTSD'd out like mad ...more
May 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
I usually like the books in this series, but not this one. I finished it, but only to be sure that I know I had the right person as the killer. Weak entry.
Ellen Spes
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Who knew homerepairs could be so entertaining
Jun 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, series, mystery, cozy
Mallets Aforethought by Sarah Graves is #7 in Graves' "Home Repair is Homicide" series.

It takes place in a small town in Maine and the protagonist are pair of women home repair experts: Jacobia (known as "Jake") and Ellie, friends and partners in fixing homes and solving crimes.

I had a tough time rating this one-it really is a half-star case for me: better than a 2 star "ok" but not quite a whole-hearted 3-star "I liked it." I enjoyed the location and the characters were comfortable to spend tim
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008, 2011
I'm several chapters into this book and am enjoying it VERY much, in spite of the author's unfortunate overuse of certain literary devices. The story is excellent and the characters are fun and compelling. This is better than the average cozy, for sure.

The series is set in a small town in maine, which is interesting in itself, but the author doesn't make a big deal out of it; the setting runs, as it should, in the background, and the characters interact with it seamlessly. The slang and casual e
Nov 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
Disappointing. This is the 7th in the "Home Repair is Homicide" series, and based on this book, I won't be reading the others. The setting is neat (Maine), but the characters and plot are only semi-interesting, and I am very annoyed with the author's writing style; she interrupts herself (and her characters) a LOT and it makes her writing very stilted and awkward to read. An example: "'So Cory,' George went on, 'has to eliminate the ants.'" Not annoying if it were once in awhile written like tha ...more
Sep 13, 2014 rated it liked it
7th book in this series - and luckily it was available at the library. The rest of the series is also at the library, so I will continue, but I hope she's got some tricks up her sleeve moving forward. The murderer was telegraphed pretty early - as another reviewer said, once a new character is introduced early it's a pretty good bet said character is the murderer. And this one was telegraphed with flashing red lights, and the story thinned out considerably from there.

Graves does a great job wit
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not quite a 3 star rating, more like a 2.8 star

I’m surprised this book was better than the others. Granted I still kind of zoned out for a portion of the book. As well as the fact that characters just randomly popped up with no explanation and we were just to assume we should know who they are without being introduced to any of them.

This book picked up in the last 1/4, I did enjoy that and wish that the first 3/4s of the book matched it.

Oct 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: cozy mystery fans
Shelves: mystery, cozy
When I picked this one up and marked it as "Currently Reading", my Goodreads list showed it as "Read", but I remembered absolutely nothing about it. I'm going back to pick up the books I've missed in this series because I do enjoy Sarah Graves' writing, the setting and the characters. I figured out who-dun-it, but I enjoyed the book anyway. ...more
Nov 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
"Jake" and Ellie find not just one corpse, but TWO when they open a secret room in the historic house they are helping to restore. One seems to be from the 1920'2-30's but the other... far more recent!
Ellie's husband George is accused of the murder and the ladies finding themselves in the search for the killer.
Jun 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Another very good Sarah Graves mystery. Can't imagine how a real live person could sustain all the injuries she receives in every book, but then that is what makes it fiction. Good plot once again. ...more
Linda C
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Jake and Ellie have volunteered to help fix up the old Harlequin mansion to use for the Historical Society gala. Behind the old wallpaper they find a sealed door and a secret room with 2 bodies, one recent and one old. Ellie's husband George had a grievance with Hector, the recent body, and becomes a prime suspect. The old one, a woman from the 20s, was the mistress of Ellie's uncle who owned the house years ago and was shot in the head. Both women start looking into both murders because of thei ...more
Peter Barr
Mallets Aforethoughts is the 7th in the Home Repair is Homicide series with Jacob Tiptree as the main character. She is a married woman living with her second husband and son from her first marriage in the town of Eastport, Maine with a number of family, friends and neighbors in a pretty good series. In this one, her best friend Ellie is about to have a baby and Ellie's husband is jailed for the murder of a realtor who takes advantage of old people to get control of their homes and wealth. I usu ...more
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the continuing saga of Jacobia Tiptree. These are great books to loose yourself in during stressful times. Jake and Ellie's perils are serious and they survive them cleverly. Good happens along the way. Life is jagged, but endurable, and there is real joy, often. Plus, the tips on house maintenance are real. I give the same review for all her Home Repair is Homicide books, they are good. ...more
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jacobia continues her sleuthing in downEast Maine with a cast of enjoyable characters. Her friend Ellie is close to giving birth while her husband is erroneously a suspect in a murder. This is a quick, can't-put-it-down lighthearted read. ...more
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Home Repair is Homicide is a great series! You get some home repair information, a bit of history, a bit of Eastport, Maine, geographical information, and a great mystery! Caan;t wait to read the next book in the series!
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it
In this entry in the Home Repair is Homicide series, Jake finds not one but two dead bodies - one a skeleton many many years old, along with someone from town. Someone not so well liked, and George, the husband of Jake's friend Ellie, is the prime suspect.

Well written and it flows well.
Ann Guanella
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book

Love these stories, we have an old house and have built a place in a lake far from stores. So improvising is a way of life. I love the stories. They always keep you wondering who did it.
Apr 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Not bad - seems a little random that Ellie is pregnant, but I'm going with "these books happen pretty far apart, so time has gone by." Pretty good read - as usual, I didn't see the killer's identity coming, although I had some suspicions. Loving this series so far! ...more
Gloria Brzny
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
enjoyed this series not only good characters and storyline. it also has good home repair tips you can use. her ex-husband as a doctor also gives tips through out the book. this book lives up to all expectations. hoping to read more from her.
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
The last detail of the murder is solved and Ellie realizes her baby is coming, she called for an ambulance. But the ambulance was in time to deliver the baby. Most of the story Jake did the sleuthing alone because Ellie was going to have a baby any time and George was on jail on murder charges.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
The murderer was obvious very early, as were some of the motivations.
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 - Very, Very Good
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Penny Sunser
I quit about quarter way through. Just couldn't follow it jumped around so much. Read others in series no problem. But wh ...more
Ellen Thielen
The story dragged some, but the characters and the setting made up for it.
Michelle Rotteau
Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it
I am getting a little tired of Jacobia not having her cellphone at inopportune moments.
But I enjoy the cast of characters enough to push through the frustration.
Valerie R.
Interesting characters

Jake is a brave and resolute woman, and she has some lovely and loyal friends. The weakness is that it was so obvious who the killer was.
Leni Davis
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fun mystery!
Linda Lugar
Mar 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars!!
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Sarah Graves lives with her husband John, a musician and luthier, and their black Labrador Retriever in a house very much like the one Jacobia Tiptree is remodeling in Eastport, Maine. When she's not writing Jake's adventures, Sarah works with her husband on the house and she plays the 5-string banjo.

Librarian’s note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.


Other books in the series

Home Repair is Homicide (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • The Dead Cat Bounce (Home Repair is Homicide, #1)
  • Triple Witch (Home Repair is Homicide, #2)
  • Wicked Fix (Home Repair is Homicide, #3)
  • Repair to Her Grave (Home Repair is Homicide, #4)
  • Wreck the Halls (Home Repair is Homicide, #5)
  • Unhinged (Home Repair is Homicide, #6)
  • Tool and Die (Home Repair is Homicide, #8)
  • Nail Biter (Home Repair is Homicide, #9)
  • Trap Door (Home Repair is Homicide, #10)
  • The Book of Old Houses (Home Repair is Homicide, #11)

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